Russian climber dies on Everest after falling ill while acclimatising
Russian climber dies on Everest: Man who fell ill with altitude sickness becomes second person to perish on the world’s highest mountain this climbing season
- The fatality was confirmed by Mingma Gelu Sherpa of Seven Summits Treks
- It was the second death on the Nepal side of the mountain this climbing season
- Last month Nepali climber Ngimi Tenji Sherpa was found dead on the mountain
- On average, around five climbers die every year on the world’s highest peak
A Russian climber has died on Mount Everest in the second fatality on the world’s highest peak this season.
The man, who has not been named, died on Saturday after falling ill while acclimatising at a camp below the summit at 21,499 feet.
‘His body has been brought to the base camp and will be flown to Kathmandu once the weather improves,’ said Bhisma Raj Dhungana, an official at Nepal’s tourism department.
‘Though the cause of the death is not known yet, it could be due to complications related to altitude sickness.’
The man, who has not been named, died on Saturday after falling ill while acclimatising at a camp below the summit at 21,499 feet (this photo shows Camp Four, the highest camp on Mount Everest littered with abandoned tents in 2019)
The fatality was also confirmed by Mingma Gelu Sherpa of Seven Summits Treks, the agency that handled his expedition.
It was the second death on the Nepal side of the 29,028-foot mountain this climbing season.
Last month a Nepali climber, Ngimi Tenji Sherpa, who was carrying equipment uphill, was found dead on the mountain.
Eleven Nepali climbers reached the summit on Saturday, the first of hundreds of climbers expected to scale the world’s highest mountain from its southern approach in the coming weeks.
Heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest in May 2019
Nepal has issued 316 permits to mountaineers including 17 Russians for this year’s spring climbing season, which runs from mid-April to the end of May.
On average, around five climbers die every year on the world’s highest peak.
But in 2019, 11 people died, with four of the deaths blamed on overcrowding that year.
It comes on the same day that a Nepali Sherpa climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time, outdoing his own previous world record set last year.
Kami Rita Sherpa has climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time, outdoing his own previous record set last year
Kami Rita Sherpa, 52, climbed to the top of the summit on Saturday while guiding 10 other Sherpas along the southeast ridge route up the 29,035-foot peak.
‘Kami Rita has broken his own record and established a new world record in climbing’, said Taranath Adhikari, director general of the Department of Tourism in capital Kathmandu.
Born to a mountain-climbing family, Kami Rita is the son of one of the first professional Sherpa guides, who led foreign mountaineers up Everest after Nepal opened up to outsiders in 1950.
How Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to ever summit Mount Everest
Sir Edmund Hillary (left), from New Zealand, and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (right), from Nepal, the first men to reach Mount Everest’s 29,032-foot summit
Sir Edmund Hillary, from New Zealand, and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, from Nepal, became the first people to ever to summit Mount Everest when they completed the mountain’s harrowing 29,032-foot climb on May 29, 1953.
Hillary, who was a 33-year-old beekeeper at the time, was paired up with Norgay as part of a British expedition to reach the summit.
The British wanted to beat Sweden to the top of the mountain after Swiss climber Raymond Lambert – also accompanied by Norgay – reached 28,210 feet before turning back due to lack of supplies just a year earlier.
Hillary was selected out of the British Commonwealth and Norgay was chosen as one of the most experienced Sherpas in Nepal.
It took the duo seven weeks to reach the summit of Mount Everest – the highest point in the world.
At the time, Norgay was one of the most widely-known citizens of his Indian hill town of Darjeeling, which was home to many Sherpas, who made their living helping Westerners climb the Himalayas, according to The New Yorker.
Norgay’s accomplishment earned him a retirement from his decades-long career as a climber and catapulted him into stardom.
In hindsight, the popular mountaineer said that he would never have made the historic climb had he known what would come out of it, the New Yorker reported in an article published in 1954.
Hillary and Norgay pictured approaching 28,000 feet on May 28, 1953
It took the duo seven weeks to reach the summit – the highest point in the world
But he still made a living off of the fame, even turning his Darjeeling home into a museum that was open daily from 10am to 4.30pm and was complete with his climbing gear, trophies and photographs of his adventures.
Norgay, who held Indian and Nepalese passports, identified himself as a Sherpa – or Tibetan – by trade. Sherpas so often helped Westerners to the Himalayan summits that the word became a name for mountain guides.
They are known to quickly adapt to higher altitudes, where oxygen levels are low.
Norgay was just that – a mountain guide who was described as ‘astonishingly excellent in courage and determination’ – when he ventured to the top of Mount Everest with Hillary.
After making the trek to the top of the mountain – and back down – Hillary was knighted and Norgay received the George Medal, which rewards acts of bravery in the UK.
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